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MLB Network broadcaster Jim Kaat apologizes for ‘40-acre’ comment

HOUSTON — Jim Kaat was one of the smoothest fielding pitchers in baseball history, winning 16 consecutive Gold Gloves during his 25-year major league career. However, the MLB Network broadcaster made an error on Friday.

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Kaat, 82, apologized during Game 2 of the American League Division Series game between the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox after saying teams should try to “get a 40-acre field full of” players who look like Chicago infielder Yoán Moncada, USA Today reported.

Kaat’s comment came during the first inning in response to a comment by broadcaster Buck Showalter.

“After the first time I saw him in the big leagues, I looked around the dugout, like, ‘Do we have one of those?’” said Showalter, who managed against the Cuban-born Moncada while piloting the Baltimore Orioles.

“Get a 40-acre field full of them,” Kaat responded.

The comment reminded some viewers of an unfulfilled promise by the U.S. government that freed slaves would receive 40 acres and a mule after the Civil War, The Associated Press reported.

Kaat apologized during the fifth inning.

“Earlier in the game, when Yoán Moncada was at the plate, in an attempt to compliment the great player that he is, I used a poor choice of words that resulted in an insensitive and hurtful remark and I’m sorry for that,” Kaat said.

Kaat, who played from 1959 to 1983, has been broadcasting since his playing days ended. He won the 1982 World Series as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals and also won a game in three starts for the Minnesota Twins during the 1965 World Series.

Kaat compiled a 283-237 pitching record with five teams.

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